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Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

Citizens Union
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tax lien sale

tax lien sale

  • City Must Remove Nonprofits from Tax Lien Sale

    garden tax lien sale

    (photo: Sofie Hecht/Gotham Gazette)


    In New York City, tiny, vulnerable, nonprofit organizations too often lose the real estate they own to for-profit developers. These unjustifiable losses are a complete mix-up of city and state tax policy, through the mechanism called the tax lien sale. New York City needs to fix this problem by removing nonprofits from the tax lien sale.

    Nonprofits of various sizes -- religious institutions, universities, and community gardens alike -- frequently own property. These organizations, due to their nonprofit status,

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  • Passing the Buck on Affordable Housing

    bdb water bill rebate bay ridge

    Mayor de Blasio makes an announcement (photo: Demetrius Freeman/Mayor's Office)


    Passing the buck is one thing. Passing seventy million bucks is quite another.

    Each year, New York City sells between $70 million and $120 million in unpaid tax debt, water charges, and emergency repair loans to a private trust. These liens—which enable the owner to foreclose on the property—then increase rapidly in value. The trust can charge nine percent interest on 1-3 family houses and 18 percent interest on multifamily housing, compounded

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